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For those who love to shop, this can be as much an international sport as any you will find in the program at the next Olympic Games.

It’s the thrill of haggling in international markets, the strained faces of people fighting for items in a mall, and the stamina to get up at ungodly hours for a city’s sample sale stampedes. It’s the bragging rights in finding a souvenir or luxury item for so little that you’re the envy of your friends and family on returning home. For some, just the search for that must-have item can be as fun as owning the actual product. Best places to shop in the world. 

Yes, shopping is a sport. And some cities offer shoppers a variety of options. So, where are the top shopping destinations around the globe?

The following destinations are some of the most fashion-frenzy, shopping capitols of the world. And, if getting paid to shop for people while you’re overseas sounds like the dream, you should set up a free account on Grabr; a peer-to-peer delivery service where travelers get paid to shop for people and bring home hard-to-find items for a sweet delivery fee. Your travels take you to distant places…why not make some extra money shopping for people while you’re there?! What are the best cities in the world for shopping?

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Hong Kong

Hong Kong is all about luxury at a low cost. The city is packed with fun stores, though shoppers in search of glitz and glamour head to the Central District. This is where you can whip out the plastic for a $5,000 handbag at Lane Crawford, or shop for sunglasses and shoes at Square Street.

With 42 million visitors flocking into Hong Kong shops, shop clerks know how to cater to international shoppers and can speak several languages. They’re almost obsessive in their help; don’t be surprised if they follow you around until you find what you’re looking for. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, they’ll tell you! Shopping in Hong Kong. Best shopping experience in the world. 

Paris

Paris is a European shopping mecca, and the buzz and hype that surrounds the shopping experience here is like no other. Beautiful neighborhoods are bursting at the seams with designer fashion stores, and stylish people strutting the streets. It’s safe to say that Paris is a shopper’s dream.

The best shops in Paris don’t sell clothes. They sell lifestyles. The city is set up with over five major department stores and 17,500 + shops. The 8th arrondissement is where you will find “flagship stores for some of the most renowned fashion labels in the world—Chanel, Hermès, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton.” The 3rd arrondissement is packed with an array of less traditional, more trendy shops. Where to shop in Paris. Bargain shops in Paris. 

Those seeking a mix of designer fashion and quirky jewelry, clothes and shoes should head to Merci. They often offer apparel by Stella McCartney and Yves St Laurent at a heavy discount. The Champs-Elysees is another hot spot for shoppers; “a mix of global chains and couture designers mixed in with the various architectural and tourists spots like the Arc de Triomphe.”

Can’t get to Paris? Have a traveler who is there shop for you and have signature Parisian fashion delivered right to your door!

Set up an account on Grabr to place a grab. Your order could include a signature square of silk from Hermès (they’re timeless), or a linen laundry bag for lingerie from Fragonard (wonderful perfumes too), or a hand-printed Kasia Dietz tote.

Los Angeles

Shopping is one of the best activities in Los Angeles, and the experience here is very much a mall culture. Whether it’s digging through vintage stores or window-shopping for extravagant luxury goods, “this large, spread-out city provides a lot of choices when it comes to spending”.

Start your shopping experience in the sprawling LA Fashion District in Downtown LA. Shopping centers like The Grove, Beverly Center, Hollywood & Highland, The Americana at Brand, Third Street Promenade, and Santa Monica Place all offer a true LA mall experience. Where to shop in LA. 

Eclectic shopping neighborhoods can be found throughout Los Angeles. Those seeking a quirkier shopping experience should head to Venice Beach, while those in search of cutting edge fashion and great people watching should head to Melrose Avenue. The best shopping in Los Angeles. 

“If you’ve got deep pockets, Rodeo Drive and Robertson Blvd. are must-sees, while bargain hunters will want to check out the outlets in Camarillo, the Citadel, Desert Hills and Ontario Mills.” Want a professional chauffeur for the day to top off your shopping experience? Blacklane in Los Angeles offers ground transportation.

Melbourne

Shopping is something that draws both domestic and international travelers to Melbourne. The most multi-cultural city in Australia, shopping here is truly a pleasure. There are the department stores, shopping centers, and all the major international brands, though the Melbourne shopping scene is best known for it’s local designers, shopping streets and arcades, some of which you will only find if you know where to look. Where to shop in Melbourne. 

Local secrets include Swanton Street near Flinders Lane. Those in the know can find “a multitude of trendy vintage stores, bargain shopping and one-of-a-kind pieces.” Chapel Street is where you will find stores by Australian designers, and an array of second-hand shops. “Queen Victoria Market is an enormous swap meet that would take days to cover in its entirety. Browsers can find anything from one-of-a-kind trinkets to hand-made sweaters.”

For high-end designer stores, head to Collins Street. You can find the mall experience at Melbourne Central and explore more than 300 stores, restaurants and a movie theater. Best shopping in Melbourne. 

Pro Tip: Take advantage of the Australian Government’s tourist refund scheme. You can claim a full refund on the taxes paid on goods purchased while visiting the country.

London

It’s easy to pack in some good quality retail therapy in London. The city offers several distinct shopping precincts and streets, each with their own specialties and themes. “From luxury goods in Mayfair to quirky finds in Covent Garden, to famous London department stores like Harrods”, and even precincts dedicated to food, you can easily spend an hour, an afternoon or a whole day browsing shops in London. Best shopping in London. 

Shopping hot spots include high end shopping along Oxford street (clothing retailer Topshop and department store Selfridges have their flagship stores here), and the infamous Harrods department store, though one of the biggest retail draws here is the city’s huge network of markets.

Dover Street Market is the most fashion forward. Old Spitalfields Market is great for menswear and handmade goods. Portobello Road Market is where you can find antiques and bric-a-brac. Camden Markets are full of eclectic open air stalls selling second-hand clothes, art, furniture and jewelry by young designers. Where to shop in London. Shop at markets in London. 

While shopping in London, make some extra cash by shopping for others too! Set up a free account on Grabr and browse the current grabs (orders). Shoppers are often looking to pay travelers a sweet delivery fee to bring home quirky British souvenirs.

New York

In terms of sheer variety and abundance of styles and shops, New York City is the “gleaming shopping Mecca that dreams are made of”. Truly a melting pot, from designer fashion on Fifth Avenue to knock-offs in Chinatown, New York is a city that caters to everyone when it comes to shopping, regardless of whether you want to spend a little cash, or a lot. Shop in New York.

This is a city that offers a huge diversity in style and interpretations of chic. Orchard Street on the Lower East Side is full of trendsetters and vintage stores. Though if you’re willing to look past Manhattan, Brooklyn Flea offers vintage collectibles and local arts and crafts you won’t find at any chain store.

The Upper East Side is where you will find institutions like Tiffany’s, Barneys, and Bergdorf Goodman (their Christmas displays are worth a trip alone). Soho’s busy streets are full of fast fashion for revamping your wardrobe (Zara, UNIQLO, H&M) and big names (Prada, Phillip Lim, Chanel). Nolita is one of the city’s best kept secrets, and Elizabeth Street offers an array of boutiques. Pick up some food souvenirs to keep your stamina going throughout the day.

Milan

A list of best cities for shopping wouldn’t be complete without Milan. It seems like every fashion house in the world has a presence here, from the likes of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Armani, Prada, and Versace. A true shopping mecca, Milan will make you lust over designer goods you could never afford. Or could you? Is shopping in Milan expensive? Where to shop in Milan. 

One of the most beautiful (and expensive) shopping experiences is that of Quadrilatero della Moda or Quadrilatero d’Oro (‘rectangle of gold’). This is considered by many fashion insiders as the most important fashion district in the world. Though while the boutiques and lifestyle showrooms cater to the black cards, yesterday’s styles are tossed aside so fast, so for bargain shoppers, outlets and sales racks are always full. Best shops in Milan.

Il Salvagente (“the lifesaver”), Milan’s best known and longest established outlet, has three floors of goods discounted up to 60%, all organized by size and color.” But it’s unlikely anyone back home will even know you shopped at an outlet mall — Milan fashions are always months ahead of the trends everywhere else in the world! Where is the best shopping in the world?

If you’re not satisfied with window shopping in Milan, get the rush of shopping by signing up as a traveler on Grabr and spending money for other people.

You get the satisfaction of the shopping experience in Milan, while actually earning money to deliver designer goods on your return trip for shoppers at home.

Dubai

The city with the world’s most opulent and extravagant malls, there was no question as to whether Dubai would make this list. A miniature kingdom unto itself, Dubai Mall is the largest shopping mall in the world. The shopping experience here includes theme parks, a waterfall, “dancing” fountains, Olympic-sized ice rink, aquarium, indoor souk and malls within the mall, such as the Galeries Lafayette from France and the first Bloomingdale’s outside the United States. There is also the Mall of the Emirates, with the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. Shopping in Dubai. The best shops in Dubai. 

Though souks and traditional Arabian markets play a crucial role in the life and trade of Dubai’s residents, and exploring one of the city’s many marketplaces is an essential experience for visitors. Whether you’re after some lavish gold jewellery, hand-woven fabrics or traditional oud fragrances, there are souks for almost every need. Shopping in Souks in Dubai. 

Head to the Gold Souk for gold, the Spice Souk for spice, and the Perfume Souk for, you guessed it, perfume. There is also the Textile Souk, Souk Al Bahar (inside Dubai Mall), and Souk Madinat for those in search of food.

Make Money Shopping Overseas

I’m sure you have been asked by your friends or family to bring something from abroad. Now you can get paid! I want to get paid to shop for people. 

Start your free Grabr account for opportunities to get paid to pick up items for Shoppers. It literally only takes a few seconds to begin; you can quickly sign in with your Facebook account or login with your email address.

How Grabr works is that the shopper creates a grab (that’s what they call orders), travelers make their delivery offers, the shopper then chooses the traveler he/she likes, and a delivery happens! Get paid to shop. 

So travelers get an added sense of adventure, some extra cash, and a chance to meet new people. Shoppers get access to goods that they otherwise couldn’t have. How do I become a personal shopper? Will people pay me to shop?

The amount of money to fulfill the buyer’s grab (your delivery fee) is agreed upon before you head off to shop, and there is no cap on the number of Grabs you can take on at once, so theoretically your earning potential is unlimited.

Start Shopping

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Louis Vuitton by zoetnet. Eiffel Tower by night by Moyan Brenn. Empire State Building by Sam valadi. Times Square by MK Feeney. Prada – Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Milan by Lorenzoclick. Gold Souk Dubai by neekoh.fi. Souk Madinat by Gilles.

Post completed in our role as Brand Ambassadors for Grabr. 

    30 Comments

  1. Great suggestions, though if I’m looking to spend serious money, I like to head off to out of town malls! I’d love a shopping trip to Milan – I found Paris extremely expensive last time I visited.

    • Thanks Sarah! I also found Paris pretty expensive, thought I guess it’s hard to avoid in the shopping mecca of the world! Great tip on heading to out of town malls – will give that a go on our next trip abroad.

      Happy shopping!

  2. For a girl who’s not a massive shopper I’ve shopped at quite a few of these places! It’s fun to go to Beverly Hills and visit the store from Pretty Woman. I hope that’s still there!
    Great list
    Curious Claire recently posted…My Kerala Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • When I’m at home I’m not generally a shopper either, but I think there’s something that is so fun about shopping overseas. And as you said, stepping into the shoes of your fav film characters like when shopping in Beverly Hills. Exploring Rodeo Drive was such a blast!

  3. I love to look, though I don’t buy much. So much in those shopping areas is incredibly expensive. I loved strolling the little shops in Venice, and we found some great souvenir shops off the main path in Cinque Terre. My best Paris shopping experience was at a street market in the Bastille area!
    Tami recently posted…Enchanted Chihuly GardenMy Profile

    • Window shopping can often be just as fun, and often I’ve found that sometimes you’ll stumble upon an amazing local secret like the street markets you mentioned in the Bastille area that might really surprise you. It’s these gems and hidden local shopping areas that are the most fun to explore :D!

    • Thanks for the tip on Greenwich Village, I’ll have to get back to New York and explore some more!

  4. This is a lot of shopping! More than I can handle for sure :) I truly agree when you say that shopping is a sport. I’ve seen people being more competitive at it than at the Olympics.

    My shopping is usually very simple and targeted. No roaming around for random things!

    Grabr looks like a cool concept, taking advantage of the shared economy I believe I’ve seen something similar but can’t recall the name.
    Hugo recently posted…3 days in Yosemite during the SummerMy Profile

    • Especially at the Black Friday markets in America after thanksgiving – people can get vicious about not missing out on their sales!!

      We probably wouldn’t shop well together lol half the fun for me is roaming around looking for random things 😀

      Grabr would definitely suit you as a traveler if your shopping is quick and to the point. Jump over to sign up as a traveler and see if you can make some extra money while you’re abroad :)

  5. All of these are such great cities! We’ve been to five of them, but would love to check them all out. We loved wandering around Quadrilatero della Moda in Milan, but we just stuck to window shopping :) Love the idea of Grabr–what a cool concept–I would love to get paid to shop for other people!!

    • I stuck to Window shopping in Milan too haha but there are definitely some bargains to be found if you know where to look – Il Salvagente for the next time you’re there :)

      Grabr is seriously so great! You should definitely jump over and set up an account quickly. Such a brilliant way to earn some extra cash while you’re overseas and enjoy the international shopping experience at the same time :)

  6. Awesome to know about the Grabr platform, getting paid to shop sounds pretty good;-)

    I particularly love shopping at markets, browsing through the stalls and trying to find something unique that captures my impression and feeling of the city I am in.

    When I lived in London I spent days walking around the city, finding small boutiques, (food) markets and yes, also the famous English brands (who doesn’t own a nice top from Topshop;-).
    Lotte recently posted…23 Photos That Show Why I Love New Zealand So Much!My Profile

    • Doesn’t it! Getting paid to shop is my dream! I’ve been jumping onto the Grabr feed every day to try and catch a couple of jobs here and there. Really awesome concept for a platform taking advantage of the shared economy.

      I love shopping at markets too – Bolivia actually had the most interesting markets I’ve ever come across; it was called the “Witches Markets” in La Paz – had some realy unique and incredibly strange stuff!!

      Really great way to immerse yourself into the city you’re exploring :)

  7. Great post. I never really think about spending too much money cause I’m usually on a budget when I travel. I’m heading to New York in two weeks. Maybe I’ll consider some shopping.

    • Thanks Christopher – if you’re a budget traveler you should definitely jump on over to Grabr and set up a quick profile. May as well make a bit of extra money while enjoying the international shopping experience too!

      Happy travels – hope you have a wonderful time in New York :)

  8. I’d also include Istanbul on the list, there’s nothing like haggling over piece of beautiful jewelry or a traditional Turkish tea set. Also, who doesn’t want to be paid to shop?

    • Great tip, thanks Brianna. I’ve heard some pretty wonderful things about Istanbul. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to visit Turkey soon. Love haggling, it’s part of the fun of the shopping sport :D!

  9. Maybe I’m a little biased, but I think Miami should be on this list as well lol! We have so many tourists that come from Central and South America just to shop! It’s crazy!

    • Very true! I didn’t spend too much time shopping in Miami actually, we spent the majority of our time at the beach 😀 Will have to try and organize a trip back to Florida soon!

  10. That’s a pretty interesting concept, to shop for others while traveling. I’m not a big shopper – I always feel out of place in high-end stores with perfume samples and thousand-dollar bags, but I would consider picking up a coveted item for someone “in need”. :)
    Laura Lynch recently posted…5 Top Things to Do in Brussels on a BudgetMy Profile

    • Absolutely, that’s what I love about Grabr; you can enjoy the shopping experience while not actually spending the money yourself. In fact, you’re earning money! I’ve been jumping over to the Grabr feed each morning to see if I can pick up a couple of jobs on my travels – definitely recommend creating an account; it’s quick and easy, and to get started is free :)

      Happy shopping!

  11. Shopping most definitely can be a sport! This is a great guide to have handy while traveling, so many of my friends are always asking about the best places to shop. I’ve never heard of Grabr, I’ll have to check it out. I do a lot of window shopping, only makes sense to get paid while I’m doing it!

    • Absolutely Heather! Glad you enjoyed the post … and yes, absolutely sign up for an account with Grabr – as you said, it only makes sense!

      Happy travels :)

  12. Thanks for the great list! I love going down shopping streets in every country because it says so much about the city’s culture. Some run by the youth, some more traditional, even noticing the changes after not visiting for some time says something. I really enjoy shopping at local markets too, its always fun to see different knick knacks all the time. I remember trying vintage hats on at a market in Paris once. Charming!
    Mar Pages recently posted…Galle Face Hotel a night at one of Asia’s oldest heritage hotelsMy Profile

    • You’re most welcome – glad you enjoyed the post! I absolutely agree with you – I think the shopping culture of a destination really does have a lot to say about the culture in general. Even heading to a shopping district to people watch and observe as the locals interact with each other is a wonderful way to spend a day.

      Local markets are definitely an awesome place for finding those truly unique trinkets and gifts. Always set aside a day when we’re away for visiting as many as I can :D!

      Happy travels Mar :)

  13. I’m not a big shopper, but Grabr sounds up my alley! Who would say no to some extra cash while traveling.

    • It’s a great way to make a non-shopper fall in love with it 😀 Really fantastic way to earn money while traveling abroad. Make sure you jump over to the site to set up a profile – happy shopping & happy travels!

  14. Definitely agree with how good shopping is in Hong Kong! Surplus of high end and low end finds in one city! I also recommend other Southeast Asian cities like Bangkok or Saigon. Thanks for the recommendation, Megan! I’ll try and get some vintage shopping in Paris when I head to Europe soon.

    • Thanks for the recommendation on Bangkok or Saigon Trisha – I’m all for combining high end and low end finds in one city; means you can enjoy the best of both worlds!

      Happy shopping in Paris! Make sure you don’t miss Merci for some heavily discounted finds :)

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